The peak season for the flu usually happens in February, Kent said. It's much more severe than sniffles and a cough.
Dr. James Watt, who oversees the state's communicable disease control center, said influenza is widespread and worsening.
Shasta County public health officials on Tuesday confirmed the first local flu-related death in what's described as one of the worst flu seasons in a decade. The CDC also stressed "Estimates of the flu vaccine's effectiveness against circulating flu viruses in the United States will be available later in the season".
Flu season has hit Arizona hard this year: the state Department of Health said this year's epidemic is proving to be far worse than last year, with emergency rooms experiencing longer than average wait times due to an overflow of sick patients. And among the 54 jurisdictions in the flu surveillance system (every state plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands), 50 reported "regional" or "widespread" flu activity at the end of previous year. Researchers are saying it compares to the flu level of 2015-2016, the most active flu year since 2009, when a flu that had not been seen before caused a pandemic that killed 284,000 worldwide.
However, H3N2 cases tend to be more severe than other strains and people are more likely to develop serious complications, such as pneumonia and even death, he says. "We all need to take appropriate precautions against getting the flu", Matyas said. Vaccination is still the best protection to protect ourselves, our families, and our community from the flu.
Flu shots are cheap with many insurance plans covering the cost.
Everyone 6 months of age and older should be vaccinated against the flu.
Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
The release said the very young, elderly, pregnant and those with conditions like asthma and diabetes are at a greater risk of contracting the flu.
"Stay home, don't go to work, don't go to the gym, don't go to religious services", Schaffner told ABC News. Germs spread this way. Use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough and always throw the used tissue in the trash.
The proportion of people seeing their health care provider for influenza-like illness increased from 4.9 to 5.8 percent. Antiviral drugs are most effective when given early in the onset of illness.
As a reminder, getting the flu shot not only protects you, but also those most vulnerable.